Briefing Paper on U.S. Military Commissions

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On November 7, the Supreme Court agreed to review the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who is challenging the lawfulness of the U.S. government trying him for alleged war crimes before a military commission at Guantánamo Bay. The Court is expected to render a decision in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in late June, 2006. Human Rights Watch has raised serious due process concerns about the Guantánamo military commissions since they were first announced in November 2001. These concerns, restated in this backgrounder, remain valid so long as the military commissions continue under the rules in place on the eve of the Hamdan decision.

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